With the project how to write we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the gallery and bookshop Wien Lukatsch. The project consists of an exhibition series and a publication series with texts by artists. Thereby we are drawing upon the concept of the gallery to think artworks and books as one, to show them together and to publish books by artists.
how to write is dedicated to the writer Gertrude Stein, who is influencing countless writers and artists up until now. Surprisingly, her works are not very present in bookshops nowadays. All the more we are excited by the prospect of engaging in depth with her methods of writing, her language and the transgressions that are connected to Gertrude Stein’s oeuvre. The little known history of the narration Portrait of Mabel Dodge at the Villa Curonia (1911) has particularly been a revelation for us. It shows how radical Gertrude Stein's and other artist’s thoughts on transcending boundaries were already at that time! Mabel Dodge Luhan, a writer befriended with Gertrude Stein, has published the portrait in a private edition of 300 copies; she recognized the text already as a cubist work of art and in 1913, the text was exhibited as a work of art at The Armory Show in New York.
With our publication series how to write we have the pleasure of publishing artists texts that have been influential for us. Some of them have not been published until now, or were published in very remote publications. Texts that were not translated into English yet have been translated.
To inaugurate the series we asked the writer Stefan Ripplinger to reflect on artists who write. He initiates a discussion on the possibilities writing bears for visual artists. The booklet how to write 2 is a transcription of a lecture that has been held by Jimmie Durham in Glasgow in 2010. how to write 3 is a text by Dieter Roth from 1986 titled An Essay on Robert Schürch, which is dedicated to the Swiss painter Johann Robert Schürch. We had the text translated into English for the first time. how to write 4 contains the text Bathroom Contemplation by Haegue Yang. She collages therein diary-like texts that she and her mother have been writing independently. In how to write 5 we are publishing Tomas Schmit’s text fluxus, wenn ich mich recht erinnere (1970) that has so far only been published in English under the title if I remember rightly (1972).
The series how to write is to be continued.
The exhibition how to write 1 features artworks by George Brecht from 1972: Corner, Front and Steal Me, which consist of white letters on white canvases, as well as the object Foxfire. We intend to publish a how to write-booklet with one of his texts.
The Piece of Wood (2005) by Jimmie Durham is also being shown in the exhibition. The work consists of a piece of wood and a text, where the piece of wood tells its story.
The Japanese artist Shimabuku is presenting two works. The video installation How do you accept something you don’t understand? (2006/08) shows how a German is singing a Japanese song which she doesn’t understand and whose lyrics she has been learning by heart; and in Octopus Stone (2013) Shimabuku documents with found stones and shells the inexplicable passion for collecting that is characteristic for octopuses.
We present also books by Gertrude Stein – a cross-section of her writings from different periods. Her works will be on display in the bookshop, where one can also listen to audio-pieces – texts by Gertrude Stein read by the writer herself.
Two new tapestries by Ingrid Wiener are being shown as well: Einkaufsliste für Whitehorse and E, both dating from 2012. With the woven shopping list Wiener continues her work with remnants of life that she developed in a series of tapestries and installations together with Dieter Roth. In E, a psychological phenomenon of perception is being woven.
From Haegue Yang we present the installation Holiday for Tomorrow (2007). It consists of traditional Korean wooden screens of differing patterns as well as the film Holiday Story. Holiday Story was shot in Seoul during the Korean national holiday Chuseok. It shows one of the quietest days of the year when the city is deserted. A dense spoken text accompanies the film, reflecting on the topic of work and rest.
Thanks to Stiftung Kunstfonds with VG-Bildkunst for the support of the publication series how to write.